Education lobby groups demand clarity from Angie Motshekga

13 May 2020 - 10:47
By yoliswa sobuwa
Angie Motshekga
Image: Trevor Samson Angie Motshekga

A joint statement by three foremost lobby groups in the education sector - Equal Education, Equal Education Law Centre and Section 27 - is calling for the department of basic education to present a clear and comprehensive plans to the public about the future of the 2020 school year.

On Thursday minister of basic education Angie Motshekga is expected to announce the state of readiness for re-opening of schools after Covid-19-induced lockdown. The three organisations said the "inconsistent and contradictory" information the department has been issuing over the last two weeks has led to confusion and anxiety.

"Tomorrow's briefing by Motshekga presents an opportunity to clarify and provide vital detail on what teachers, caregivers and learners should expect in preparation for the re-opening of schools as well as the implications of some grades of learners possibly being at home for an extended period of time."

The sections said they are calling for the department to ensure that the plans presented by Motshekga address the issues of full details of the impact of the phased re-opening of schools benefiting from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) both for learners returning to schools and learners who may have to remain at home.

"The impact of the phased re-opening of schools on learners with disabilities including details on resources and support that will be provided both to these learners and also the learners who may remain at home. Clear time [frames], plans and budget information detailing the provision of PPE material, adequate water and toilet facilities at schools, scholar transport, additional classroom space and teachers [need to be communicated]," read the statement.

The lobbies also said there should be clear plans detailing the implications of and measures that will be put in place to support caregivers, teachers and learners in circumstances where the department's non negotiables for school re-opening have not been met.